Fashion Group International

Fashion Consultant, Show Producer and Stylist Janet Racy Dies at 69

Fashion Consultant, Show Producer and Stylist Janet Racy Dies at 69

Janet Racy, a fashion and lifestyle consultant, died Thursday at age 68 at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Forest Hills, N.Y.She died from complications from surgery following a long illness, according to her friend Lisa Silhanek. Services have not yet been planned and a celebration of her life will be held at a later date.
Roach worked as a trend forecaster, spokesperson, stylist, designer, visual display specialist, show producer and in other capacities. Many knew her as the director of fashion merchandising at Harper’s Bazaar, a post she held for five years until 1992. Prior to that, Racy served as vice president and fashion director of women’s apparel for the Associated Dry Good Corp., whose members included Lord & Taylor, J.W. Robinson and L.S. Ayres. During her career, she worked with brands and designers including Christian Francis Roth, Karl Lagerfeld, Thierry Mugler, Alber Elbaz and Kleinfeld. Racy also worked in special events, films and commercials.

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Roth said Friday that after designing his first collection, he first met Racy through his girlfriend at that time, who is now his wife. After she called Racy at Harper’s Bazaar, Roth packed away his designs in a garment bag and walked to the magazine’s offices with a model friend to show Racy. “She was just beside herself. It was the first person I had ever shown my work to. Right away she called Marylou Luther and Lynn Manulis, the head of Martha boutique on Park Avenue. She was such a champion of my work early on and made introductions that shaped my entire career,” Roth said. “She put on a headset and called my first show from backstage. She helped calm me down, when I was worried or upset in preparation for the first show. She had a hand in sales, the merchandising, the styling, the model casting, the calling of the show. I just remember her there at all hours, not just for the first show but for the first several.”
Unfailingly positive, Racy excelled at putting people together, Roth said. “If she saw there was a talent, she was genuinely ecstatic about introducing that talent to the people that she knew. Putting people together, launching design careers — she had an outsized role in the industry in that regard,” he said.
Through the years, Racy, who started her own consultancy business in 1992, periodically appeared on television like Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, NBC’s “The Today Show” and QVC, among others. She also lectured and taught classes at universities and corporations. Racy also freelanced for fashion and lifestyle magazines. Well-informed about an array of subjects, Racy was not only smart, but she was nice, according to Luther. “Her major contribution was to prove that there could be goodness in the fashion world. And she was goodness. It didn’t all have to be make believe and let’s do the best we can to make it look good. She was real,” Luther said.
Kleinfeld co-owner Mara Urshel recalled Friday how she hired Racy to produce fashion shows for the bridal retailer with different organizations 21 years ago. ”At that time, fashion shows were more entertaining than just models going down the runway. Janet really worked with us and taught our marketing people every little thing about what has to be done to set up a fashion show — the photographers, sets, lights — everything. Jennette Kruszka, who is my director of marketing, said she learned everything she knows from Janet Racy.”

Describing Racy as “such a sincere, warm, intelligent and honest person, who you just loved being with,” Urshel said their friendship endured after they stopped working together. “You don’t run into too many of them in your life. The ones that you do, you really hold in esteem.”
Racy graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in apparel design and later went on to earn a BA in textiles and clothing from Queens College, as well as a MA in retail marketing from New York University. A member of the Fashion Group International, The Round Table of Fashion Executives and FIT’s Alumni Association, Racy also served on Kent State University’s advisory board and was a visiting guest at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.
Manulis’ son Andrew Burnstine met Racy while studying together at NYU in the late Eighties. Racy wrangled clothes from Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta and others and produced and created “Clothes Encounters of the Third Kind” for a retail marketing class. “Janet even was so persuasive in those early days in convincing America’s top designers to loa us clothes for the show.” Burnstine said.
In addition to Roth, She also was instrumental in working with Martha’s to feature and promote designers like Josie Natori, Jeanette Kastenberg, Badgley Mischka, Joanna Mastroianni and Zang Toi, Burnstine said.
Racy is survived by her brother John.

CFDA Plans Pool Party to Hold In-person Awards Event

CFDA Plans Pool Party to Hold In-person Awards Event

NEW YORK — Much is in flux as the Delta variant takes hold in different regions of the world, but that hasn’t deterred the Council of Fashion Designers of America from revealing plans to hold its annual awards gala in-person in early November.
The extravaganza is slated for Nov. 10 at The Pool and The Grill in the Seagram Building on Park Avenue. The gathering will be a return to an IRL bash following last year’s CFDA Fashion Awards, which were held digitally via the CFDA’s Runway360 platform.
Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s chief executive officer, said: “This is an important moment in American fashion. There is much excitement about the return of New York City and New York Fashion Week, as well as the top caliber of diverse talent making their mark on the city and the global fashion landscape. The awards are CFDA’s biggest fundraiser of the year supporting our scholarship program, and we look forward to our industry coming together, in person again, to celebrate the very best of American creativity.”

The 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards will take place in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and New York state health guidelines.
Barring any new health and safety mandates by federal, state or local authorities, this fall is shaping up to being a busy one for the fashion industry. The CFDA in partnership with IMG recently released the official New York Fashion Week schedule as part of the American Collections Calendar. After two seasons of predominantly digital shows, in-person ones are expected to be held from Sept. 8 to 12. In total, 91 shows and presentations from American and international designers are planned.

Like the CFDA’s Fashion Awards, The Met Gala is going to be a scaled-down version. Scheduled for Sept. 13, it will run on the heels of NYFW. Five days later on Sept. 18, The Met’s Costume Institute will unveil “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which will be the first of a two-part exploration of fashion in the U.S.
The Fashion Group International has also marked another date on the fall calendar. The organization plans to stage its annual “Night of Stars” awards event in-person for the first time in two years. It is scheduled for Oct. 13 at Cipriani South Street, a historic Beaux Arts building with ample outdoor space for social distancing.
The CFDA’s venue of choice is a historic one. Built in 1959 and restored in 2016, the Seagram Building is one of 117 interior landmarks in New York City. Esteemed architect Philip Johnson first did the honors and more recently Annabelle Selldorf freshened up Johnson’s designs with a spruced-up lighting system by Hervé Descottes of L’Observatoire International.
Without question, the CFDA Awards will be more intimate than in years past. In June 2019, the awards were held at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The group has also used more spacious venues like Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. The Pool Room can accommodate 200 seated, 180 with dancing and The Grill can accommodate 120 seated, and 250 reception style, according to the venue’s site. The Pool is familiar territory to CFDA chairman Tom Ford, who staged a celebrity-studded fashion show there for his namesake label in 2016. Ford also designed the uniforms that are worn by The Pool’s wait staff.

Fashion Group International Announces Nominees for This Year’s Rising Star Awards

Fashion Group International Announces Nominees for This Year’s Rising Star Awards

DRUM ROLL PLEASE: For those searching for some good news in the ailing apparel industry, the Fashion Group International has revealed this year’s finalists for its Rising Star awards. To keep coronavirus safety protocols in place, the Dec. 17 event will be a virtual one. Slated to kick off at 4 p.m., the annual celebration is expected to take an hour from start to finish — including a live awards presentation.
FGI’s president and chief executive officer Maryanne Grisz said, “It is incredibly important now, more than ever, to acknowledge new talent as they strive to work in an ever-changing marketplace.“
The field of nominees for Womenswear includes Aknvas’ Christian Juul Nielsen, Epperson’s Rodney Epperson, GRP1 Knits’ Peter Kamieniecki and namesake designers Amir Taghi, Kelsey Randall, Sai Sankoh and Soonil Kwan – all of whom have their own signature collections. Vying for the men’s wear award are Reese Cooper, Christopher Lowman and Phit Clothing’s Phillip White.

Apotts’ Aaron Potts is in the running for the All Gender Product award that was introduced for the first time last year. Other competitors are Rinat Brodach, Cassandra Elizabeth’s Cassandra Burrell, Cipriani Mia’s Nelissa [sic] Carrillo and Venim’s Leslie Fong and Kayee Houchin.
One of the more crowded categories is for the Beauty Entrepreneur honor. Curl Daddy’s Edwin Pierrot, Em & El Organics’ Emily Trower-Young, Masami’s Lynn Power, Nyakio Beauty’s Nyakio Grieco, Pause Well-Aging’s Rochelle Weitzner, Sparti Scents’ Caroline Fabrigas and Abby Wallace and Versed’s Melanie Bender are all vying for the honor.

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Five brands have been nominated for the Accessories, Scarves/Fashion Jewelry category: Dalfo’s Carolina Dalfo, Ines x Ciner’s Ines Di Santo, Rory Worby Studio’s Rory Worby, Trelawear’s Mara Perlmutter and You Go Natural’s Monique Little. And four have been named for the Accessories, Handbags/Footwear honor: Area’s Tina Bhojwani, Bentz’s Melissa and Kim Bentz, Daph.’s Daphne Benzaquen and Mia Becar’s Betzabe Gonzalez.
Three enterprising companies are facing off for the New Retail award: Clear for Me’s Sabrina Noorani, Fashwire’s Kimberley Carney and Jerrimiah James’ Jerry Buckner.
In light of the months of self isolation that many in the world have dealt with and in many cases are facing again due to the pandemic, the Home Product Innovation award may be of particular interest. Hazy Mae Cookie Jars’ Hazy Mae, Pandemic Design Studio’s David Rozek, Ryan Saghian Interior Design’s Ryan Saghian and Rosie Li Studio’s Rosie Li are nominees.
One sure winner is LEAP founder Amish Tolia, who will be picking up the Hilldun Business Innovation award from Hilldun Corporation’s leader, Gary Wassner.
The most packed showdown will be for the Fekkai Sustainability award, which will be presented by Frédéric Fekkai. The race includes a few, who have also been nominated for other awards — Bhojwani of Aera, Benzaquen of Daph. Trower-Young of Em & El Organics, Bender of Versed, Randall and Cooper. The two other nominees are Glenn + Glenn’s Hillary Glenn and We Are Hah’s Sharleen Ernster.

Hilldun, Hearst Magazines, Diesel and Fekkai are this year’s lineup of sponsors.

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